With $1B partnership between RWJBarnabas and Rutgers, both realize academic health system status

RWJBarnabas Health will first invest $100 million in Rutgers University as part of a bigger public-private partnership to create a jointly operated academic health system, officials announced this week.

Under the terms of the partnership, RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers University will remain separate organizations with independent boards and employees.

Together, they will gain the cache and the collective financial, clinical and research resources of a major teaching hospital.

“Through this partnership, we have formed the largest and most comprehensive academic health system in New Jersey and are well positioned to take our place as a national leader in patient care, health science discovery and innovation," said Rutgers University President Robert Barchi in a statement.

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RWJBarnabas was created as the result of a 2016 merger between Barnabas Health and Robert Wood Johnson Healthcare, both large heath systems in their own right. With $712 million in annual research and development expenditures, Rutgers ranks among the nation's top public universities.

The boards from both will form a Joint Committee for strategic planning and oversight of the academic health system. Clinical delivery will be managed and led by RWJBarnabas Health in coordination with Rutgers, and the academic and research functions will be managed and led by Rutgers in coordination with RWJBarnabas Health.

RWJBarnabas will also fund the construction of a new clinical and research building for the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, which is the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, as well as a new ambulatory care center, both in New Brunswick.

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The venture will also form a comprehensive medical group comprised of employed physicians and other healthcare professionals from RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Health. They said the medical group will be one of the largest in the country that will be led by an integrated practice CEO.

Funding will also go toward the recruitment of leading clinical and academic leaders and faculty, including approximately 100 new principal investigators by Rutgers, doubling its research portfolio.

It will also go toward building residency, training and fellowship programs and attracting Rutger's medical students to remain in New Jersey for their careers, as well as expanded access to clinical trials.